Cymmer (Cymer) Auxiliary Unit Patrol
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the Cymmer (Cymer) Auxiliary Unit and Operational Base. The info below has come from our internal
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Cymmer (Welsh: Cymer) is a small village in Neath Port Talbot in Wales, set on a hillside in the Afan Valley
near the confluence of the River Afanand the River Corrwg. Cymmer falls in the Port Talbot county borough.
Originally West Glamorganshire.
No 20 GLAMORGAN to PEMBROKE – Groups: 1. Glamorgan. 2. Glamorgan. 3 Carmarthenshire. 4.
The patrol was part of GLAMORGAN GROUP 1: which consisted of four Patrols: SKEWEN, PONT-NEATH-VAUGHAN, SEVEN
SISTERS, CYMER, patrols.
Group commander of these Patrols was Captain C.H. Young who was assisted by Lieut O.G.
Sgt. Wally Thomas
Cpl. R.E. Starkey
Pte. R. Coleman
Pte. E. Coleman
Pte. D.J. Maybury
Pte I Purser
The patrol didn’t have a specially built bunker. In the event of an invasion they were expected to return to
their homes after their sabotage operations.
The patrol often trained in the dunes on the beach, although their night training came to an end when the number
of couples in the dunes made it impossible to operate. From then on they trained in the dunes during the day,
wearing dark glasses.
Unknown, but it is assumed that they had the standard weapons and explosives issued to all patrols.
Roy Coleman was a collier and a messenger boy for the ARP before he was recruited into the Auxiliary Units from
the Home Guard. A few weeks later his old Scout master, Wally Thomas, approached him. "We've got a special gang,"
Wally told Roy, "a special gang with special jobs to do. I've got your friend David Maybury with me. He's my
corporal. Do you want to come and join us?" And so for the rest of the war Roy kept up his work in the mines, his
Home Guard service and his Auxiliary duties. "It was nothing to come home late, get changed and go back out to
work."For the rest of his war Roy kept up his work in the mines, his Home Guard service, and his Auxiliary duties.
‘It was nothing to come home late, get changed and go back out for work. We had two Home Guard uniforms, one with
the local badge and another with the Auxiliary Units badge.’
Throughout the war, and for over fifty years after, Roy kept his involvement with the Auxiliary Units totally
secret. ‘During the war I got married and moved out of my parent’s house. A week later my mother found a wooden box
under my bed. She got my younger brother to take it to Wally Thomas, my old scout master, as she thought he’d know
what to do with it. She never knew what that box contained - a Thompson sub-machine gun and 3,000 rounds of
Roy thinks local knowledge would have bought them the necessary time to carry out their sabotage. "We knew those
mountains like no one else. All the short cuts, all the mines. A stranger up there at night or day - they wouldn't
have known where the hell they were."
"We could have caused problems to start," Roy says. "But they'd have soon snuffed us out and it wouldn't have
made any difference. The only thing that might have was if we'd blown a bridge or tunnel in our area. They'd have
had a bloody hard time fixing it. It's so mountainous, see?"
TNA WO199/3389, Owen Sheers
article in The Guardian
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